If you do enough woodworking, whether it’s building, renovating or fine cabinet making, you often need to replicate angles or determine an angle so you can split the difference. And don’t get cocky about that corner of an ordinary “square” room where your two pieces of trim meet. It’s not 90 degrees. Trust me! If you’re mitering (or even if you’re coping), you’ll only get a precise fit if you know the precise angle.
Fixing a handrail to a post or a baluster to a handrail also requires you to know a pretty precise angle, and transfer it. Once you’ve got that angle nailed, it’s a lot easier to lock it in on a tool than to hold your template up to your stock for every subsequent cut.
For a long time, I used a combination of these tools.
They did the trick. The bevel square allows you to transfer angles, but it doesn’t give you the actual degree of the angle. The protractor gives you a precise angle, so you can adjust the miter saw accordingly, and the clear material gives you a lot of flexibility. It even helped me make some very precise miter cuts one year when I was stuck using an ancient radial arm saw with a less-than-level table. But it was flimsy, the blades moved too easily out of position, and you needed a magnifying glass to read the degrees.
Well, we live in a digital world, so it’s time to move up.
This tool and others like it combine the benefits of both, and give you the confidence of knowing you have the precise angle every time.
Check out this one at Plumber’s Surplus.